Help is a four-letter word.
Frustration, complaining, anger, and crying may all take place before I dare ask for help.
The thing is, I carry on my shoulders too much worry and too much fear. No wonder I possess a two-year-old diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder; no wonder I possess a memory of worries and fears going back nearly three decades.
I am beginning to accept that I need to move past the worries and fears and ask for help to avoid frustration, complaining, anger, and crying.
One of the biggest obstacles is my hatred of the telephone, my fear of the telephone. A couple therapists ago, back in junior high, gave me “homework” that entailed calling a couple of my classmates just to chat. I did it, laughed it off when time with that therapist was over, and never really got the hang of conversation on the phone, other than for work purposes.
Before long there was the internet and bulletin board systems and chat rooms and message boards and Twitter. Who needed to talk on the phone, when all emotions could be spilled onto the computer with people just waiting to support me? I thought that was help.
For several months now, my mother and I have chatted on the telephone almost every week, as I navigate through this latest rough patch. Not that long ago, I might have spoken with her maybe once a season. She insisted that the more she hears from me, the less she worries. Because helping others is not foreign to me, I relented; so began the weekly phone calls. Maybe she cannot understand or relate to what I am going through, but at least I hear her voice across the thousand miles between us. It helps.
Then, last month, I managed to divulge some of my troubles over the telephone to a trusted friend, more than I could express in an e-mail or in a message board posting. It felt good to speak out loud about these troubles to someone outside my psychiatrist’s office. It helps – and now I know I need to hear the voices of other friends, near and far.
Last week, I joined Team WILD (Women Inspiring Life with Diabetes). I am realizing that, this time, I cannot lose weight and I cannot gain back diabetes control without the kind of help this organization provides; not just through interactive webinars, but through one-on-one telephone calls with coaches and certified diabetes educators. I am seeking out help with something I thought I could do on my own, but has instead been filled with frustrations and complaints and anger and tears.
Slowly, I am coming to accept that it is not quite so crude to ask for help.
(This is a submission for the next Patients for a Moment, hosted by Hayzell at Possibilism. We are asked to write about the subject “Help”.)